Trouble in Lake Wobegon

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Dennis Sanders

Dennis Sanders is the Associate Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Minneapolis, MN.  You can follow Dennis through his blogs, The Clockwork Pastor and Big Tent Revue and on Twitter.  Feel free to contact him at dennis.sanders(at)gmail(dot)com.

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13 Responses

  1. Avatar Doctor Jay
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    says:

    My wife is from Minneapolis, and we have visited many times. It surprises me that this happened in Minneapolis. It’s sobering to see how much our reality can fall short of our intentions and our desires. I wish, I pray, for your safety and for peace in this world.

    I wish I could put your words on blast.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Powerful essay. This entire situation sucks.

    I wish the world were not this way and I wish that a way forward had obvious things that would result in things being *BETTER* rather than merely “not quite as awful”.Report

  3. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    Yeah, I live on Nicolette and Franklin so it’s been a scary stretch of time since the protests, when they overflow off Lake Street, have sometimes come by my home. Happily we haven’t suffered severe damage.
    It seems pretty obvious to me that some major reform of the police department has to be undertaken. Potentially root to branch. There’s a really bad culture there and the union chief for Minneapolis is a real impediment. Unfortunately taking on the police unions is really tough for politicians to tackle. Here’s hoping this whole fiasco puts some steel in their spines to take up the labor or else, in time, this’ll probably happen again.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    When the rioting moved from downtown LA to other more affluent areas like Fairfax and Santa Monica my wife murmured that she felt a guilty pleasure that it wasn’t just us.

    Because the past history is that when riots happen in poor urban areas it feeds the myth that “urban” (code for mixed race) areas are dangerous, while white suburbs are safe.

    Which in turn leads to policy choices which are intended to seal off the safe areas from the dangerous areas and leave them to their fate.

    I know in our gun control discussions here we talk a lot about the concept of citizens resisting tyranny.
    But in truth, resistance most often takes the form of simply making society ungovernable.

    Making it impossible for everyone to go about a normal life of work and shopping and recreation.

    The rioters, however much we condemn them are asserting their power to bring society to a standstill. And they know that even the most violent reaction by government would only advance their goal.

    Because having tanks on the corner and bodies strewn across the street would destroy the normal that Americans want and bring an end to the prosperity and sense of well being that we crave.

    So yeah, maybe the best thing we white people can do is grasp that there is no safe haven to escape to, and that we can’t ignore or turn away or refuse to deal with the fact that so many of our fellow Americans lead lives of quiet fear and desperation.

    This is our problem to fix.Report

    • Avatar DoctorJay in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      I want to affirm the sentiment, for white people, that “this is our problem to fix’. I am speaking to white people, as a white person:

      We need to stop thinking that this is a problem in the South, or in certain parts of town, or in the backwoods. It’s right here with us. We grew up with it. It was on TV. It was in school. For some of us, it was in relatives.

      We need to embrace that this is our problem, not somebody else’s problem. And there isn’t an easy, simple fix. Whatever it is in my background, it’s going to be easier for me to find a black man scary than a white man. Since I know this, I can slow down when meeting one, and evaluate in a more thoughtful way. Goodness knows there are bad people in the world, and some of them are black men. I’m not saying ignore it. I’m saying slow down. Ask yourself if there isn’t an alternative explanation for their behavior or presence. This invariably leads to better outcomes and a richer life.

      Also, take the time to have conversations with black men, or women for that matter. I once thought I had little opportunity to do that, but once I was inspired to make more of an effort, I did find opportunities, and it enriched me significantly. One note: Don’t make the conversation about race. They are not spokespeople. Just be people with them.

      We didn’t ask for this, but it’s on us. It’s a much lighter burden than the burden black men have to carry, and they didn’t ask for it either. This is just the situation we find ourselves in.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Trump teargasses priests to get them out of their own church yesterday for a photoop. He did not call in advance. He just swooped right in. His actions yesterday were hard authoritarian. I am wondering when the police which to live ammo instead of rubber bullets. My guess is soon.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Almost none of Trump’s recent public appearances are going to be announced in advance. The Secret Service isn’t going to give bad actors sufficient lead time to plan things.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        But surely, Steiner’s assault will turn things around.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          What is there to turn around? They’re not going to ease up on the President’s security. Yesterday in DC he had the 5th Cavalry walking point in combat loadout, just like he was touring Baghdad. They’re not going to tell Antifa, BLM, and other leftists where to plant IED’s, which has reportedly become an actual problem they’re dealing with.Report

          • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            “he had the 5th Cavalry walking point in combat loadout, just like he was touring Baghdad.”

            That didn’t happen.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Andrew Donaldson
              Ignored
              says:

              It happened in DC, apparently. It wouldn’t happen in Baghdad because Baghdad was relatively safe, at least in comparison to DC. They might have to do something about that.

              As an aside, comic artist Scott Adams was on the side of police reform, as was pretty much everybody who wasn’t facing charges for murdering someone on body cam, and he’s finally thrown in the towel. He said the “community leaders”, or whatever you call them, are completely and unforgivably incompetent for continuing to call for protests when they all know that the protests will result in all of white America spending another night watching minorities loot stores, burn buildings, and brutally assault people.

              One of the rules of sales that he emphasized was that you never oversell a product. As soon as the customer says “Yes” and pulls out their wallet, you stop the sales pitch because from that point forward, the only thing more selling can do is cause people to rethink their initial decision, put their wallet back in their pocket, and walk away.

              The leaders had made the sale, the customer had their wallets out, and everybody was on board with police reform. Now lots of reform supporters are probably sitting back and wondering if permanent martial law with dogs, chain link fences, and guard towers would be a better solution.

              To illustrate the mixed message, an hour or so ago people in LA had gathered at the mayor’s house to protest his increase in the police budget. They’re demanding that the LAPD budget be slashed. Yet at 6:00 PM the protesters are scheduled to swap out so the looters and rioters put on another real-world display of why the LAPD budget needs to be doubled.

              I’ve been watching Livestreams were San Francisco liberals are saying they’re rethinking their political affiliations, with folks in the live chat concluding, in frustration, that the events justify a massive use of force from people in uniform. This is how you get draconian laws and a police state that has widespread public support.

              The day before I watched a live stream by a black man from the Bronx who works for the legal firm that handled Eric Garner as a client. He can’t stand the police abuse, but he was about to pop a gasket at the stupidity of the protests and how much damage they are doing to the cause. He felt they were ignoring MLK Jr’s wisdom and taking the Malcolm X approach, which is self-defeating in gaining public sympathy and support.

              Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is the very essence of incompetence, but this is where BLM, Antifa, and TDS have lead the movement.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson
              Ignored
              says:

              But they did find an IUD laying on the ground.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        So Stephen Miller is out of the loop?Report

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